There may just be something in the air over by the Republican National Committee headquarters.
Just after the RNC fired a low-level staffer for setting up a young donors event at Voyeur West Hollywood, it seems the GOP accidentally sent out a mailer asking for money with a phone number that directed loyal Republicans to... a phone sex hotline.
The mailer printed the RNC's phone number -- 202-863-8500 -- as an 800 number instead of a 202 one. "Get together with exciting people everywhere," a message at the 800-863-8500 line answers. It redirects callers to another number, which tells "sexy guys" to "get ready for a new way to go live, one on one, with hot horny girls waiting right now to talk to you." (The girls are "students, housewives and working girls," and before calling, you should "lie back, baby, relax," but you also need to have your credit card ready, because calling the actual sex line -- which requires yet a third number -- will cost you $2.99 a minute.)
The mailer was supposed to look a bit like a Census form, with a series of questions for Republican voters, though they're a bit more leading than the ones the government is asking: "Are you concerned that historic federal deficits and debt will seriously harm the future economic health of our country?" Which prompted one voter in Minnesota to try to call the phone number listed to complain about the resemblance to an official government document. Instead, that person got the phone sex lines. So the voter sent the mailing on to their member of Congress, who happened to be a Democrat, and turned it over to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. RNC spokesman Doug Heye says he doesn't know how many copies went out with the wrong number.
The RNC is already in trouble with conservatives; Family Research Council chief Tony Perkins asked his members not to give to the GOP directly anymore this week, in part because the RNC has shown itself to be "tone-deaf" to the values of a large swath of the people it purports to represent.
This latest gaffe probably won't help. Democrats, meanwhile, point out that while the RNC fired a staffer over the Voyeur thing, National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, never really got in much trouble for hosting a fundraiser at a Las Vegas burlesque club in 2008 or another one last year at Tao nightclub, a spot on the Vegas strip where the décor in the entrance sometimes features barely-dressed models lounging in bathtubs.
"How many TV stations are going to receive Republican television ads about conservative family values paid for with a fat stack of $1 bills?" one Democratic strategist asked.
Listen to the sex hotline message here:
And here's the RNC mailer: